It doesn’t. That’s because there’s precious little that you can do to help people who won’t take responsibility for themselves.
Cosby’s financial support is for those black youths who DO want to shape up and make something of their lives. If a young urban black man or woman doesn’t want to do that, then there’s very little that one can do to help. Funding for better housing can help somewhat, but it’s ultimately a bandage on a much bigger problem.
I don’t fault Cosby for choosing to funnel his financial donations toward education, instead of housing programs and the like. He’s focusing his contributions in a way that’s designed to teach men to fish for a lifetime, instead of feeding them for a day.
As a white person, I don’t feel like I have any right to comment on the validity of Cosby’s point of view. However, on a personal level, I know that it’s easy to get stuck in the “blame” rut. That’s just Step One. Once you’ve identified the source of your problem, that in itself is not going to fix it. You need to then get to work, yourself, and fix what needs to be fixed. Again, this is on a personal level. But my instinct is that it’s probably applicable on a larger, societal scale as well.
Cosby is very well known as a promoter of jazz. He was recently the MC for the Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock concert. He hired the Oregon Symphony to do the theme song for The Cosby Show one year. The Oregon Symphony at that time was conducted by a black man, James DePriest, who was a childhood friend of Cosby. Cosby also generates to predominately black universities and featured them prominently in his show. He also produced a spin-off that took place in a predominately black college campus. I think he has done really friggin well putting his money where his mouth is.
This is where we differ, the “N” word was once the one thing a white person could do to upset a black person, it was the trump card. The sure-fire way to cause pain. I submit, that by it’s constant use, the word is losing it’s power, it’s hold on the african-american community.
Why should any group be allowed such power? An all powerful fighting word? Forget it, let it lose it’s power.
Is ugly? Sure but let’s not keep it has the weapon of choice…it’s not 1950.
Sure, as long as those mouths are full of $5,000 a plate dinners. Look it’s his money and his soapbox, but don’t say he’s putting his money where is mouth is, when the people he’s railing against, don’t even get the crumbs…
(Because we all know that our own “brilliant” is always the “best” brilliant! ;))
I understand what others are saying about needing money to change the situation, but some people just don’t have it. Sometimes, when the lightbulb finally goes off over the person’s head, they’re already in debt, with no training, stuck in a dead-end job, just barely making ends meet. You can’t expect people with “nothing” to throw money at a problem when that money simply doesn’t exist.
I believe it is all of our responsibility to fund the turnaround of these problems. I’m not talking about throwing money into extensive welfare programs, although some of that is necessary. I’m talking about training programs, daycare, mentoring programs, safe housing, security, medical care. Yes, many of these programs are already in place.
The problem is that many people aren’t buying into the big picture. That’s where the families need to get in there and find a way to change the attitudes of the kids…to work together as a unit where a kid can find strength instead of strife. If you’ve never been taught how to be a supportive family member, this can be the most difficult thing to achieve. It won’t happen overnight, but I think Cosby has the right idea. He’s taken a “tough love” approach, which is what is needed. He knows the help is out there, but the recipients of that help have to meet society half way, and they have to not only WANT the help, but they need to understand themselves what the problem is!
The only difference is that now when a black man punches a white guy in the nose for calling him a nigger, he probably won’t get lynched. That’s it.
The word will lose its power once its socially acceptable for a white person to call a black person nigger. That’s not happening.
You’re right. It was much different. When Cosby grew up, there was crushing racism, blacks were beaten and killed for standing up for themselves, there were fewer social services to help out, there were fewer private charities to help out, blacks still couldn’t even get into a lot of colleges because of racism and the poverty level was much higher.
But yeah, leaving all that aside, Cosby had it a lot easier than these kids today.
At least five people made excellent points that Bill Cosby has not only done a lot to promote black music, but also black education, and yet you only chose to acknowledge the points that you had a snappy comeback for.
Rjung, I have read many of your posts. We differ significantly politically. This is the first one in memory that I agree with completely. I just wanted to let you know that we have found common ground.
Yes you can force them to use the money as you see fit. Why is that so hard? Here’s a million bucks, i have purchased X and Y and would to see your recruitment for teachers please. How many students per class, that’s too many I want you do this or NO MORE MONEY. Is that hard to do?
Who said anything about throwing a blank check? I can only tell you from my experience which is NOwhere nearly as bad as these kids have it, what things poor people need to better themselves.
And COSBY is the one bitching about the use of nigga, so how do you fight a cultural war, which is what this is? By replacing the culture with something else. How do you do that? By screaming that poor black folks are losers or by creating a culture that they can relate to and assimilate?
Giving money to Spellman that most of these people will never see or create a local school system that they will?
We all pay for the sins of our fathers, for some of use that fee is small and managable for others, it’s overwhelming. I don’t know how I would have turned out if I lived in crack infected, killing, lousy school environment during my childhood, and I KNOW Bill Cosby didn’t either, we were lucky…
I would like to think that my personal “responsibility” would have guided me…but I don’t know and I REFUSE to call someone worthless whose boots I will NEVER have to walk in.
Which is exactly what Cosby is doing, by supporting non gangsta rap artists and producing things like the Cosby Show and A Different World which tried to promote a different and more intellectual and culturally diverse lifestyle of blacks.
You can give a million dollars to schools, get brand new books, and fantastical teachers but guess what, in the words of Calvin:
YOU CAN PRESENT THE MATERIAL BUT YOU CAN’T MAKE ME CARE.
The most well funded school in the world is only going to work if the students use it and the parents are involved in it.
Sometimes it takes someone screaming “WAKE THE HELL UP AND LOOK AT WHAT YOU’RE DOING” to get anything done.
I think I’m getting the same sensation that holmes is getting. Bill Cosby, by giving his speech in the arena that he is given it in, is basically preaching to the choir. People who are getting overly happy over his comments need to ask themselves why, exactly. Is it because he is saying stuff that no one knows? Is it because he is a black man condemning black people in a way that a white person wishes they could? Is it because his comments are proof that all black people aren’t proponents of victimhood? Is it because his comments are going to actually cause people to stop their horrible ways, thus making this society a better place?
From the OP:
Are wife-beating black men in the audience here? I mean, like as an activist working in the community and all, is it very likely that the no-count black men that Cosby is talking to are actually present at this forum?
Is he talking to his immediate audience or is he attacking people like this in general? If I were present in the audience I may be put off by what seems like patronizing preaching. I’d be thinking, gee, I’m not beating anybody up, I have a great job that I worked hard for and took all the opportunities I could…so now I have to listen to you berate me like a kid? WTF?
Cosby’s message invites defensiveness by his overuse of the word “you”. To me, it doesn’t matter if he were white or black, anybody giving a speech about bad behavior in the black community and then acting as if it is “yalls” problem and not “ours”, is not going to appeal to me. That is what Cosby is doing. If he had been a white man, he would have been booed off the stage. And rightfully so.
Imagine being invited to speak at a college. Your topic is on the Problems with Youth of Today. Instead of trying to motivate the students–who are likely to be heading in the right direction since they are furthering their education–to get out in the community and help other young people to do things like vote, stay away from drugs, and obtain degrees…you choose to frame your speech like this:
“You kids need to stop drinking yourselves silly and getting knocked up and then expecting someone else to take care of it. You should have thought of that before you opened your legs up. And you need to get an education, too. God made books for a reason. Read them. And for God’s sake, vote, dammit! People died so you could have that right!”
This, in effect, is how Bill Cosby is coming across to me. His language is off-putting not because of his message, but because of his word choice. Unfortunately, I think it reflects how he perceives himself in relation to other black people. It is like he speaking on high to the drug-dealing, hootchie-mama, slang-speaking black masses.
Bill Cosby knew damn well this would be picked up by news outlets, and just like sometimes a friend needs an intervention, sometimes we all need to be shook up and looked in the eye and told “YOU’RE SCREWING IT UP”
Yes, he was speaking to a room of people who maybe didn’t need his message, but what if those people tell others? Or what if someone reads his message in the paper?